Beyond the Plantations

The photographs from Beyond the Plantations: Images of the New South present the contemporary southern landscape in all of its rich complexity.  These images are offered in contrast to the idealized or romanticized landscapes that are often illustrated in depictions of the south through literature, cinema, or visual art. Images of the Old South are often sanitized views of a perfect and prosperous plantation life yet ignore the conflict, conquest, and transformation that is manifested in the changing landscape. The photographs from Beyond the Plantations incorporate the physical beauty of the landscape within the context of its longstanding complexities and contradictions.

 

Beyond the Plantations is an extension of my southwestern images from The Way Out West, taken over a 20-year period in the desert southwest.  In this new series I continue to create images that examine the layers of change within the human-inhabited landscape — geological, archeological, historical, cultural, and ecological. I see the landscape as dynamic representation of the complex relationship we have with our surroundings over time. It is the accumulation of layers of human trace within this verdant landscape that drives this series of photographs.

 

Beyond the Plantations: Images of the New South is an ongoing project that I started in 2007. The prints are toned gelatin silver prints.